BI to try passenger disembarkation interval in NAIA Dec. 17

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

December 14, 2018, 6:54 pm

MANILA -- The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is considering having a passenger disembarkation interval for those arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) starting Monday (Dec. 17), Grifton Medina, Immigration Port Operations Division chief, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

"This is one of the things that we are exploring. We have coordinated with airlines to have an interval time before allowing the passengers to disembark," he said.

Medina explained that six airlines, for instance, would arrive at the NAIA at the same time. "Can you just imagine the volume of passengers at the immigration counters if all of their passengers would go there at the same time?" Medina said.

Having at least an interval of 5 to 10 minutes will help ease the long queues because at least, the queues have already moved before the next passengers would come in, he explained.

"Time and space are essential," Medina added.

He told PNA that in NAIA Terminals 1, 2, and 3 alone, about 90,000 to 100,000 passengers arrive each day this Christmas season.

"The biggest challenge, actually, is the facility itself. The volume of passengers is increasing, but the size of the facility does not increase," he said.

He noted that NAIA Terminal 2, for instance, is too small, since it was originally designed as a domestic airport.

In a previous interview with the PNA, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Media Affairs Division head Jess Martinez explained that NAIA Terminal 2 was not even designed to have a section for the BI, as well as a Duty-Free store.

That was why the immigration queues there were always long, he said.

NAIA Terminal 2 is currently being used by flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) for its international and domestic flights.

MIAA has been working on the rehabilitation of Terminal 2 since late October.

Some areas at Terminal 2 will be fixed and a portion of the lobby at the north and south arrival areas will also be expanded. (PNA)